Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Emily H. & Student Body Discover the Unseen

Invisible Children, a documentary which depicts the atrocities and stories of child soldiers in Northern Uganda, was filmed by three college students; Jason Russell, Laren Poole and Bobby Bailey. In 2003, following their trip to Africa, they began their now renowned organization, the Invisible Children. Presently, the organization is a global phenomenon; releasing the stories of those who cannot speak for themselves and gathering a garrison, whose mission it is to further spread the word and end such atrocities.

On March 12th, Invisible Children presented a screening of the documentary in order to inform, inspire, and motivate the students of Marianopolis. Students sat enraptured by the screening which provided a mere glance into the world of child soldiers in Northern Uganda. They learned of Africa’s currently longest war and how those most affected were not only the wounded, but those children who must trek day and night in order to find a safe haven so that they may not suffer the horror that roams through their country. Students learned that not only were mass amounts of people being killed without reason, but that children were the soldiers. The Lord’s Resistant Army, begun by Joseph Kony, has literally brought hell on earth for the people of Uganda, and, presently, the DRC. Innocent children are unwillingly being programmed into child soldiers, an issue all too present across the globe today. Forced to murder and rape their very own parents; this is a future the invisible children prayed to avoid.

Thankfully, people like Emily H., one of Marianopolis’ own, has brought this all too seemingly different reality to our attention. Emily too was unaware of the plight of the children of Uganda until she heard of the Invisible Children through the merchandise they sell. Emily speaks of her admiration of these small tokens of hope: “I admired the design of the bracelets, and especially because the bracelets were made by child soldiers and all the proceeds went towards a good cause. As I ordered the bracelet, I was able to check out the website, and I was completely in awe. I like to follow world issues and I was thoroughly unaware of the issues of child soldiers and the website explained the issue so clearly and its information was geared towards our generation.”

Initially, Emily wanted Marianopolis to participate in the organization’s Schools for Schools program. After discussing the matter with the very willing members of Congress, it was decided that Marianopolis would support the cause. “Invisible Children were so eager to come to the school and to Montreal that they convinced me that they wanted to come to our school still, more than ever, and that just to have the screening to raise awareness would fulfill their goal” says Emily. Emily emphasizes that she simply wanted to “inspire and motivate” the student body, for she believes that this issue is “important for our generation to deal with.”

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